Posted on Mar 24, 2014

Beginning this month, an important change in the Social Security disability process will occur for U.S. veterans.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the agency will begin expediting Social Security disability claims for U.S. veterans who have already been declared 100 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). The change in policy would allegedly put totally disabled veterans and active duty service men and women, at the front of the line for Social Security disability benefit determinations.

How Many People Will be Affected by the Change?

The Social Security Administration has not estimated how many people may be immediately affected by the change in policy. However, government statistics indicate that about 10 percent of the veterans receiving disability benefits from the VA are totally disabled. That translates to about 360,000 people. However, it is not immediately clear how many of these people may already be receiving Social Security disability. The SSA reportedly estimates that tens of thousands of veterans may be affected over time.

The change is not expected to impact who qualifies for Social Security disability, but rather how long totally disabled veterans have to wait for a determination from the SSA. It is anticipated that the new rules will allow determinations to be made in a matter of days or weeks rather than months. Many of the veterans have already waited many months, or more, for a disability determination from the VA.

We hope that this change brings relief to our veterans seeking Social Security disability benefits.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska